Harper seeks Parliament’s approval to extend Iraq mission into Syria
Stephen Harper is asking Parliament to endorse his plan to extend Canada’s involvement in the fight against Islamic State militants by 12 months and to expand the scope of Canadian air strikes against extremists to include Syria.
The Conservatives are putting the motion for expanding the mission on the order paper today and debate will begin Thursday. Both the NDP and Liberals said they opposed the motion, though the vote is expected to easily pass given the Conservative majority in the Commons.
Canadian warplanes have been bombing Islamic State targets in Iraq since last October and Mr. Harper had previously said he believed he needed the consent of the Syrian government before striking Islamic State forces in Syria.
On Tuesday morning, Mr. Harper told the House of Commons that the Canadian government has changed its mind and decided it doesn’t need the approval of the Assad regime, which is a pariah today because of its murderous war against its civilians.
“The government recognizes that ISIL’s [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s] power base, indeed the so-called caliphate’s capital, is in Syria,” the Prime Minister said. (Read Mr. Harper’s speech.)
“ISIL’s fighters and much of its heavier equipment are moving freely across the Iraqi border into Syria, in part for better protection against our air strikes. In our view, ISIL must cease to have any safe haven in Syria.”
He said Canada’s intentions in staying in this fight have not changed. (Source: Globe & Mail)
Reposted to Yahoo Canada News.
— Graeme MacKay (@mackaycartoons) March 24, 2015